1. The housing crisis and related displacement are two of the most pervasive human rights violations in Haiti. A majority of Haitians live in overpopulated urban centers, shanty towns or under-developed villages that fail to meet minimum standards of habitability and lack access to basic necessities such as clean water, sanitation, electricity, and physical security. Moreover, security of tenure in Haiti remains a significant problem, precipitating property disputes and putting many, especially the urban poor, at risk of forced eviction.
2. These conditions pre-date the earthquake that hit Haiti in January 2010, and according to the Government of Haiti’s own assessment, exacerbated its effects. While the post-earthquake displaced persons population has been reduced considerably, over 59,720 people still reside in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps. Recent immigration policies in the neighboring Dominican Republic (D.R.) have led to the formation of six large displaced-persons camps populated by nearly 3,000 repatriated Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent (on the Haiti side of the shared border.
3. Government progress on the realization and protection of the right to adequate housing has been inconsistent. Despite the completion of a national housing plan in October 2013, government responsibilities for housing-related functions such as land titling, management of social housing, and project construction are diffused across competing government ministries and units, making progress slow. The government has threatened IDP camp closures repeatedly without the provision of durable solutions to residents, and the response to ensure the right to housing for repatriated Haitians at the border has been practically non-existent.
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